From Woody's Couch

Our Playbook on OSU History

Category: Football (page 1 of 9)

Football and Futbol at the ‘Shoe

Ohio Stadium, 1949

While Ohio Stadium may be best known as the home of the Buckeyes football team and the first double-deck football stadium in the nation, it has hosted several non-OSU sporting events and two professional teams based in Columbus, over its almost 100-year history.

The Buckeyes are not the only football team to have called the Horseshoe home over the years. In 1992, the Ohio Glory was based out of Ohio Stadium for their one season of existence in Columbus. As part of the World League of American Football (later renamed NFL Europe League), the Ohio Glory played teams from all across the United States, as well as international teams from Spain and Germany, with their only victory of the season being against the Frankfurt Galaxy in Ohio Stadium. While the team and league have since ceased operations, the Ohio Glory will always hold the mantle of the first professional team to call Ohio Stadium home.

Special Olympics in the stadium, 1987

Another kind of football—or, soccer—has also had some momentous occasions within the ‘Shoe. In 1996, when the first charter member of the newly-established Major League Soccer needed a home, Ohio Stadium answered the call. While the Columbus Crew would eventually get their own purpose-built stadium, Ohio Stadium served them well for the first three years, and provided for some successful seasons in the fledgling league. More recently, Ohio Stadium was the site of the largest-attended soccer match in Ohio history. The 2016 International Champions Cup held a match between European

heavyweights Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid in front of a record-breaking crowd of 86,641, more than doubling the previous state record. While superstar and fan favorite Cristiano Ronaldo did not feature for Real Madrid due to a knee injury, fans still arrived in droves to glean an experience of European football.

Beyond typical spectator sports, the Ohio Stadium has also staged more community-based events through the years. From its founding in 1968, the

Wheelchair Games, 1972

Special Olympics has provided children and adults with learning disabilities the chance to train and compete in sports, and gain a greater sense of accomplishment and self-confidence. Ohio State has been home to the summer games every year since the 4th Annual Ohio Special Olympics in 1972, giving athletes the experience of competing inside the storied stadium. The stadium has also hosted the Wheelchair Games several times, focusing on athletes with mobility disabilities.

Ohio Stadium will always be rightly synonymous with the Buckeyes and their great successes, but through these different kinds of events, athletes of all ages and levels have been able to etch themselves into a bit of the history of the great arena. Hopefully, fans will continue to experience more great games beyond the Scarlet and Gray, continuing the legacy of Ohio Stadium as a world-class venue for all sport in the future.


Written by Matt McShane.

A bounty of Buckeye-themed goodies, thanks to Trademark and Licensing

It’s likely many of you have never have heard of one of OSU’s most influential offices, but boy, have you sure seen its imprint.

Trademark and Licensing has been around for more than 30 years, “protecting the University’s name and identifying marks,” according to its web site.  It all started in 1982, with a proposal of a program to ensure OSU received a royalty from each sale of OSU-themed merchandise. The program also would regulate which products were allowed to use Ohio State’s trademark, to make sure the University’s image remained unsullied. (By the way, the Libraries receives a percentage of each royalty, so we are particularly grateful for this program.)

Now, vendors who want to use OSU’s  name or logo on their merchandise must undergo a rigorous application process with the Trademark and Licensing Office to get approval.  While the office is strict about its standards, it does approve a wide variety of items to be sold.  We thought we’d take you down memory lane to show what kind of items once adorned the shelves of various retail outlets around town back in the ’80s. The material in these photos is from a collection transferred to the Archives in 1989 by the office.

Our models in the photos were Brandon Abbott, Britain Wetzel and Jimmy Zimmerman. Brandon, a Math major who was a summer-only Archives student assistant, returned to classes last week. Britain and Jimmy graduated last spring, and this fall, Jimmy is starting his second year of courses at OSU’s School of Dentistry. Meanwhile, Britain is beginning her first year of coursework at Kent State University’s College of Podiatric Medicine. Thanks and good luck to all three!

So let’s get to the photos!


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Twelve Days: For Woody Hayes and others, the Archives aims to ‘pay it forward’

(In celebration of the University Archives’ upcoming 50th Anniversary in 2015, we bring you “The Twelve Days of Buckeyes.” This is the last of a series of 12 blog posts highlighting the people who were instrumental in the creation and growth of the Archives. Stay tuned for more posts and other announcements related to our anniversary celebration next year.)

Woody Hayes, 1963

Woody Hayes, 1963

It’s been nearly 30 years since Woody Hayes’ death, yet his legacy is still very much alive for many people. Even OSU students who hadn’t yet been born when he died in 1987 know about Hayes. And although many these days can’t name many details – such as the fact that he still has the most national championships of any OSU football coach – they almost invariably can recall that he was some kind of an important figure at the University.

We would like to think that the Archives contributes a little to this continuing legacy.

The Archives has housed the Woody Hayes Papers since 1990, when his widow, Anne, donated them to the University. The collection includes papers, books, awards, memorabilia, photos and other effects.

Anne Hayes, n.d.

Anne Hayes, n.d.

Though it is larger than most, the collection of roughly 75 boxes is very similar to the dozens of faculty and staff collections housed here. Each collection’s materials document the careers of the people who have worked at OSU. Like many of these collections, though, Hayes’ goes beyond mere documentation of a career. His materials reflect a person whose job title was coach, but whose contributions to the University and community went far beyond that. Consider:

– Photos from his own U.S. Navy service during World War II. In these, Hayes is incredibly young but already shows leadership skills that would he would use for 27 years as OSU football coach. (He achieved the rank of Lt. Commander and was in charge of both a patrol boat in the Palau Islands and a destroyer escort.)

Hayes, (center), with two unidentified men, n.d.

Hayes, (center), with two unidentified men during WWII

– A wooden clock with a plate inscribed “Bryant-Foust Crippled Children’s Day Award presented to Woody Hayes…,” given to him in 1986. Hayes was a big supporter of charities that involved children and regularly visited patients at Columbus’ Children’s Hospital.

Letter from Richard Nixon, 1979

Letter from Richard Nixon, 1979

Correspondence with VIPs that include the likes of Bob Hope and Richard Nixon, both of whom Hayes considered friends. Nixon even gave the eulogy at Hayes’ funeral.

Hayes at 1986 commencement

Hayes at 1986 commencement

– A videotape of Hayes’ speech at the 1986 Winter Commencement ceremony, just a year before he died. It shows a frail, elderly but grateful man who was still spurring people to “pay it forward.”

As Hayes’ encouraged, we at the Archives hope we can “pay it forward” to the community by not only preserving such materials but making them available to researchers, classes and the community for years to come.

To learn more about Woody Hayes, please see our web exhibit commemorating the anniversary of his 100th birthday

You can also read a transcript of his Commencement speech.


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